Brauhaus Sion – Photo: Brian Kachejian ©2018
When travelers talk about the best European food, they often mention restaurants in Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris. After spending half my summer traveling all across Europe, I would agree that the above mentioned places host some of the finest cuisine in the world. Nonetheless, the one country that surprised me with how delicious and wholesome their food tasted was none other than Germany. I had heard that the beer and pretzels were out of this world, but I was not expecting everything else to be just as good. One of our favorite cities that we visited in Germany was Cologne. If there ever was a city to experience true German culture at it’s finest, Cologne is the place to visit.
Cologne, Germany is famous for the city’s beer gardens. Along the Rhine River are some of the most wonderful places to sit outside at a table and consume the city’s renowned Kolsch Beer. However, there are restaurants and breweries all through the city that brew their own beer and present diners with incredible wholesome food. One of our favorite restaurants that we ate in Cologne was a place called the Brauhaus Sion. We did not find the Brauhaus Sion by accident. I had done some previous research on places to eat in Cologne while we there and the Brauhaus Sion was getting rave reviews. This article will add to that list.
The Legendary Brauhaus Sion Restaurant
We stopped at the Brauhaus Sion around 4:00 in the afternoon. It’s pretty easy to get a table at any restaurant in Europe at 4:00 pm. People seem to usually not eat at that time, although they drink at that time. In Europe they drink all day, it does not matter what time it is. Most people have dinner late in Europe. Some restaurants don’t even open until after 7:00 pm.
We sat outside at a table located directly along the main street. The Brauhaus Sion has about forty tables outside and most people prefer to sit in the open. The tables are covered by an overhang in case of rain. There was enough space in between the tables to make the seating comfortable. It was a only a matter of seconds before the waiter came over to ask us what size beers we wanted. Beer is served in German restaurants like water is served in American restaurants.
Everyone drinks beer in Germany. It’s a way of life. In the United States there are bus boys who walk around restaurants always filling water glasses when they get low. In Germany they do the exact same thing with the beer. Once you glass gets low, the waiter fills it right back up. If you do not want any more refills, there is a small paper coaster that you are supposed to place over the top of the glass. I have to say that when you place that coaster above the glass, you do get a disappointing look from the waiter.
German Kilsh Beer – Photo: Brian Kachejian ©2018
Our waiter did not speak that much English. There were certain words that he understood like beer, large and small. So we both did our best in communicating. All one really has to do to order is point to the menu. Its as simple as that.
For an appetizer we ordered an item called “Halver cock Röggelchen with butter and medium Gouda.” Translated it was an esquite dish of bread and cheese. The dish included a very large slice of Gouda Cheese that was to die for. It was incredibly fresh and rich in flavor. The dish also had onions placed on the cheese . When the cheese was eaten in the same bites with the onions bread and pickle, it became clear why they were all put together on the same plate.
Halver cock Röggelchen with butter and medium Gouda – Photo: Brian Kachejian ©2018
Every city has a specialty dish that they are known for. If your traveling, you have to do some research to find out what that dish is. We all know that Wiener schnitzel is popular in Germany. I am talking about the regional dishes that are not common outside of a particular city. In Cologne one of their most popular regional dishes is an item called Heaven and Evil. At The Brauhaus Sion I made sure to make that my main dish.
The Heaven and Earth dish is a vegetarian plate that combines a multitude of flavors. A scooping of red beans are mashed and then ground into a patty which is then charbroiled. It’s easy to assume that is the Earth part of the plate. The bean patty is served over a bed of gratin style potatoes and onions. A small cup of apples are served on the side. The taste of each item alone is very good. However, it’s when the potatoes, onions, apples and beans are mixed up together that a flavor that is indescribable occurs. If you ever get to Cologne, Germany you must try the Heaven and Earth dish.
Heaven and Earth Dish – Photo: Brian Kachejian ©2108
One can not visit Germany and not have some good old school sauerkraut. It’s what you choose to eat with the sauerkraut that becomes the difficult choice. As a second entree, we ordered a combination of ham steak, potatoes and sauerkraut. Once again, it was the combination of the different food items that when eaten together scored all A’s in our book.
When we were sitting outside at our table enjoying our food, I got bit in the chest by a bee. It hurt pretty bad at first. However, the food was so good and I was having such a great time sitting and relaxing, I was determined not to let something like a bee bite ruin my meal. I simply just poured a little beer on my napkin, padded the bite, and went on enjoying an amazing meal in the heart of Cologne, Germany. If you ever get a chance to go to Cologne, Germany, don’t pass on the chance of having a meal at the Brauhaus Sion. It’s a legendary restaurant and brewery in Cologne. The place has been around since 1318. Yes, that’s not a typo,1318!